It is said that the best way to live is to ‘breakfast like a king’ – and never has that been more appropriate than when you’re enjoying the most important meal of the day at the new Ivy brasserie in Winchester.
It might be tricky to get a table for the evening at this high street brasserie, but an early outing means many more empty tables and the chance to start your day with a little sprinkling of Ivy glamour instead.
The Ivy in Winchester is one of The Ivy Collection restaurants, which bring the memorable experience synonymous with dining at The Ivy to a select group of upmarket brasseries and cafes.
With a Parisian-style terrace bordered with planters packed with tufts of rosemary, feathery grasses and trailing ivy, it’s perfect to sit outside on a summer’s day and peruse the menu over a frothy cappuccino or a tall glass of peach and elderflower iced tea.
You’ll need to take your time. From warm breakfast pastries and toasted crumpets oozing with marmite, mustard and parsley butter to Eggs Benedict, hot buttermilk pancakes, or The Ivy Full English, the breakfast menu is groaning with goodies.
We decided to go for the ‘light and healthy’ options (it had to happen once in my lifetime) and opt for the crushed avocado on gluten-free toast, and the coconut yoghurt with berries.
The avocado was perfect – creamy and soft and marinated in zesty lime and coriander, it was served with sunflower, pumpkin and linseed on top of a toasted slice of dark caraway toast with a scattering of ruby pomegranate jewels and a caramelised lime to squeeze over the top.
The coconut ‘yoghurt’ – for some reason framed with inverted commas on the menu – was exactly that – albeit served loose on a striking granite plate instead of in the more traditional bowl. Sprinkled with plump raspberries, pistachio, chia seeds and fresh basil, it was light, creamy and the perfect way to start the day.
The only problem with eating outside is that you don’t get to see the beautiful interior, so a trip to the bathroom before you leave is a must.
It’s worth it. With a dazzling onyx bar, pendant lighting, marbled floors, leather banquettes, mirrors and colourful stained glass, the brasserie is glamorous art deco at its finest.
It might not be quite the same as the original, but the Winchester version is cheaper, more accessible – and you can still say you’ve eaten breakfast at The Ivy. What a great start to the day!